Recipe: Alpha-omega granola

Dry ingredients. I'm excited for breakfast just looking at them!
Dry ingredients. I’m excited for breakfast just looking at them!

Alpha-linolenic acid and other omega-3 fatty acids in the seeds and nuts give this granola its name (I was really just going for “catchy”). It’s made with what the Brits call “porridge oats” and Americans generally call quick-cooking or instant oats, as opposed to my preferred rolled oats, because rolled oats are significantly more expensive here. Likewise, unsweetened applesauce apparently doesn’t exist, so I had to make my own by grating an apple. One of the recipes for granola with quick-cooking oats that I saw had flour in it, presumably to facilitate clumping; I decided to give that a try. For the seeds, I used a pre-made mix of pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and flaxseeds that I got on sale at a health food store, and I used the dregs of my walnuts from way back in December and some almonds for the nut component. A few plain old raisins got soaked in boiling water; another experimental technique, meant to prevent them from burning.

Accoutrements for improvising applesauce.
Accoutrements for improvising applesauce. (Technically, this photo is from making cake the previous day, but I used the same technique for the granola.)
The fruits of my labor with a fine grater (no pun intended).
The fruits of my labor with a fine grater (no pun intended).

It’s not quite as nice as the stuff I’m used to making at home, with lovely rolled oats and more pumpkin seeds and a huge variety of spices, but it sure beats putting raw porridge oats on my yogurt. 🙂

Done!
Done!

Alpha-Omega Granola

Yield: 5-6 cups.

Adapted from All Recipes and Health (and personal experience).

4 c porridge (quick-cooking) oats
1/4 c spelt flour
1/2 c mixed seeds (pumpkin, flax, sunflower, sesame…)
1/2 c nuts of your choice, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1-2 good twists of freshly-ground black pepper (optional)
1 large, sweet apple, peeled and finely grated/pureed
1/4 c maple syrup or liquid honey
~ 2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp-1/4 c water, if needed
~3/4 c dried fruit, chopped if large pieces*

*For drier fruits (like raisins, craisins, dried blueberries, dried cherries, etc.), you may want to prepare them for baking by placing them in a bowl, pouring boiling water over them until covered by about an inch of water, and leaving that bowl to sit, covered, while you preheat the oven and prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will prevent the fruit from scorching or drying out too much in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, seeds, nuts, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. In another bowl, mix apple puree, syrup/honey, and oil.

Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and add dried fruit. Mix thoroughly and add more syrup or some water if it seems too dry (I had to add nearly another 1/4 c of liquid to get all the dry spots). If you soaked the fruit in boiling water, use the soaking liquid.

Smooth out on a baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until golden and somewhat dry. Remove from oven and let cool completely before storing.

Serving suggestion: with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit.

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